Friday, July 31, 2015

A Truck I Found In The Country

I found this truck as I was driving around in the country. As soon as I saw it I thought it would make a great picture. The whole area the truck was in looked like a yard full of junk that my dad would have been proud of.

I have no idea what to do with all the junk way out here, so all my dad's junk is still lying around out there. I've gotten rid of some of the more valuable pieces, but much of the old junkyard is still intact. None of it is attractive to look at like this old truck, so I let the jungle grow around it.

The truck is in amazing condition for what it is. You won't see many like it anymore, except the really fixed up ones that some people have. I guess it could be worth a little bit to the right person. To me it is worth this one picture that turned out so good. I'll talk to you later.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Post About Church Buildings

Something I've wanted to do for years is to get pictures of different churches and share them here with everyone. I wanted to do it because I admire the architecture of many of them. I have always thought many churches were among the most beautiful buildings. Not all churches were created equal though.

I want to tell you that I dislike sharing any religious or political views here, but since my subject is churches I'll share just a tiny bit. I wasn't raised as a religious person, but I do like the idea of religion. I believe everyone needs something to believe in to give them some peace of mind. Religion of whatever kind you choose can be an excellent and organized way to do that for a person.

I don't believe religion is the only way. There is philosophy. Having a philosophy of life can give you a similar feeling to religion. Sometimes all it takes is a strong passion for a thing you do. A love of nature can help some. For some people it can even be a passion for their job or whatever other work or hobby they might have.

Any of those things and many others can work for a person. The only thing to avoid is to try not to become obsessed with something in an unhealthy way. I have the thing that gives me peace of mind, but I won't discuss it here because everyone should search for their own thing. And that's all I'm going to say about it. I hope that was enough but not too much.

Now I'll talk a little about the churches in my pictures. The churches here are all located in South Dakota. I'll do future posts from other places, but that's where I decided to start6. Hopefully the pictures get better as I go on. I'm honestly not impressed with any of these pictures.

The first picture shows a big church located way out in the country. I don't think there are any towns really very close to it. It's much more impressive than my bad picture shows. I obviously need to clean my camera lens. I really liked this church building.

The second picture doesn't quite show you the church building itself. It is there in the background though. I kind of liked that little bell tower. The church itself is a modern building, the kind that doesn't much impress me. I found this one in one of the bigger small towns around here.

The picture above shows the smallest church I found. It's located in a little strip mall on the side of the road. It shows that a church can be made from just about anything. I guess this one demonstrates that it doesn't necessarily matter about the building.

I found this one above in one of the smallest towns I visited. It's hard to see the whole building because of the trees in the front, but this is the kind of building I expected to see when I headed out. The light brown figure out front is a wood carving of an angel. I guess I should have gotten a closeup of it.

The churches in my last three pictures are located in a college town to the west of me. Actually I guess they're all to the west since I'm in Iowa and these churches are in South Dakota. This one above is what I think of when I think about a church in a small city or maybe large town.

Let me pause right here for a second. I just realized I'm being intentionally vague about the locations of these churches. I have no idea why I'm doing that. These last three churches are in Vermillion, South Dakota. That smallest one and the one above it are in Elk Point, South Dakota. Some of the others are in places I'm not sure of the town.

 These last two pictures are of the same church. I couldn't find a place where I could get a good picture of it. This church was big, almost as big as some of the churches I used to see in Detroit. I wish I could let you see this one better. I like it because it looks kind of like a castle.

I'm going to have future posts with church pictures. Hopefully the pictures will get better as I go. There are some really nice looking churches in Sioux City. There's also a religious site there that has to be seen to be believed. It's one of the most impressive places I've ever seen. I hope I'm able to visit that place soon.

I'm still going to keep visiting my little nature park. These other things will be somewhere in between posts about that. I had kind of given up on my church pictures after I moved, but then I got to thinking that getting my pictures around here was even better than taking pictures of Detroit churches. More variety.

So that's my long post for this time. I think my next one will be a short one. I know not everyone appreciates these long posts sometimes, but sometimes they have to come out. And I'll just leave it at that. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Rabbits On The Nature Trail

I have to tell you that I'm very excited today. I had my best day at a nature park since I've been here in Iowa. I didn't spend a long time on the nature trails, but I saw lots of stuff. I really hoped frequent trips to the little nature park up the road would give me the old feeling back, and so far it is working out really well.

When I got to the park there were rabbits everywhere. It looked like they were having a rabbit convention or something. There were dozens of them. I loved the squirrels from back in Michigan, but these rabbits today were a very good replacement.

As soon as I got out of the truck I got several rabbit pictures that were just okay, but I thought I could make a post out of them. But then after the first bend in the main trail I saw the two rabbits in today's pictures. I don't know how anyone else would rate the first picture, but I really love it. I consider it one of my best ever.

No, I didn't do any editing tricks to change the focus for this second picture. I just re-shot the picture several times. These two rabbits just stayed right there for several seconds while I took my pictures. They posed just perfectly for me.

Even the dog cooperated with me. She was on her best behavior and didn't make even a hint of a move toward these two rabbits even once. She knew they were there because she was staring right at them. But she was a very good girl today.

The grass the rabbits are sitting in is right in the middle of the trail. They mow the trails into the tall grass at the park. These trails are about due for another mowing. This is how they do the trails all over the area. We have plenty of tall grass around here.

This last picture is one of the rabbits after they finally decided to run. It's a bit of a disappointment after the first two pictures. This picture is typical of all of the other rabbit pictures I took. You can see it's nothing special, but I thought maybe you'd like an example of the other rabbit pictures.

I saw a few other things that I'll post about in the future. Maybe I'll see even better things on future trips here. From past experience I know sometimes I see a lot and sometimes I see very little. But the great thing about going to the nature parks a lot is that you never really know what you'll see.

I have some other non-nature park stuff that I may post next. It's something that I've wanted to do for years. Now I finally began this little thing. It's not quite as fun as seeing lots of animals, but I still like it a lot. Until then I hope you enjoy my rabbit pictures. I'll talk to you later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


This is going to be a short one today. But I have to show you one of my very favorite things. Mulberries! There are mulberry trees all over the little nature park I've been visiting. I see that as a sign of good luck and good things coming from this place.

When I was a little kid of about two or three I had a mulberry tree in backyard. Picking the berries from that tree is one of my fondest memories. Now I think a house isn't complete until it has a mulberry tree in the yard. My current house doesn't have any yet, but I now have a source for one.

These mulberry trees are the kind of thing I was talking about when I said I'd look for interesting things on the nature trails. I know mulberries are maybe not as important for many of you, but they are extremely important to me. They bring back my early childhood for me.

Mulberries may not be the best berries in the world, but they are really tasty. I've often wondered why they don't sell them in the stores like other berries. I'm sure there's a reason. If you've never eaten one then you should look for them. My picture shows them in various stages of ripeness. The darker the better.

I better cut it off right here for now or I'll ramble on about mulberries forever. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Back To The Nature Trails

I needed to start getting back out visiting nature again, but I think I needed to get back to it in kind of a small way. I wanted to visit some nature trails with that idea, so the obvious solution was a small nature park that was also close by. Dunham Prairie Preserve is perfect for that.

I've decided that I need to visit a good nature park more routinely, so I'm going to be visiting this one at least every few days from now on. That's how I used to do things when I went on my little everyday adventures back in Michigan. It was the best time I ever had with nature.

I would visit those old parks just about every day, but I've never done the same thing since I've been here in Iowa. I guess I never gave this park a chance. I liked the park at first, but then I quickly decided for some reason that there wasn't much to see here. Maybe I just missed my old parks.

At my old parks I used to see lots of wildlife, but not so much here. But I got to thinking recently that I didn't see many animals at those old parks until I was visiting them for awhile. Maybe those animals had gotten used to me and they weren't as afraid as before. Maybe it can be the same here too.

Even if I never see much wildlife here I might learn other interesting things about this place. I've never considered knowledge about plants one of my strong points, but I was getting pretty good with the plants at those other parks. There's lots of plants here to see.

I've had a theory that out here in the country the animals have more places to hide than they did in the city where my old parks were. Maybe that's why I don't see as much at my new parks. But maybe I'm wrong. I won't know until I really try to visit a park more often.
One of the features I liked about this park from the start is this bridge. It's not much of a bridge, but I still like it. Any bridge is good to me. I don't know how many times I've written about my love for all bridges. A bridge in the middle of the woods is my favorite.

This is all my way of trying to get my health and my pleasure of nature back. When I lived in the city nature parks were like a refuge in the middle of all of that concrete. Now they are more of the same of right where I live. I don't need the refuge as much, but I do need that wonderful feeling that walking through a nature park all alone always gives me.

I often find when I'm home I get into a routine of doing nothing. I need to be out with nature seeing the sights and hearing the wonderful sounds. And a good long hike is great for the muscles. The whole experience leaves me with the best all around feeling when I get back home.

I'll be visiting this park very often from now on. I'll do my best to show you different things with each post from there. Maybe I'll post a little more often again too. After a little while I should begin to learn a few more interesting things about the place. And besides, my dog really needs the exercise. I'll talk to you later.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Couple Of Woodpeckers

It's been a little too long again since my last post. I've been stuck in the house until I start to feel a bit better so I don't have much to post about. I didn't intend to take so long, but it gets hard when I'm cooped up and not really able to get excited about seeing nature in action.

I still have some things I've seen though, like these two woodpeckers, even though these pictures are actually from several months ago. At first glance they may look like two of the same kind of bird, but look again. The one on the right is much bigger than the bird on the left.

The little bird on the left is the same kind of Downy Woodpecker that I've posted before several times. The bigger bird on the right is her relative, a male Hairy Woodpecker.

The similarities between these birds are very interesting. They both look almost the same except for their size. Both male versions have that red band on the back of their head. The females don't have that. The downy here is a female and the hairy is a male.

There are differences though. As I've said, the hairy woodpecker is much bigger than the downy. The most noticeable difference after that is the length of the beaks. The downy woodpecker has a much shorter beak in relation to its head.

The bigger hairy woodpecker's beak is about the same length as its head, while the downy woodpecker's beak is very short in comparison. That's the best way to tell which one you are seeing when they are not together like in my pictures.

The strange distortions in my pictures is actually dog slobber on the window I took the pictures through. The dog gets kind of excited watching the birds. I have to constantly clean the window.

Maybe you don't consider this last picture that good, but I love it. It shows the downy woodpecker flying away. I love capturing stuff like that, no matter how it comes out.

I actually began writing this post about a week ago. I had to stop because I just wasn't feeling very good. I think I'm finally beginning to get better now, so I'm going to make an effort to start writing my posts a little sooner again.

There's a small nature park up the road that I'm going to visit quite a bit to get back into going out again. I'm hoping that if I visit it often enough that I'll begin to see some interesting stuff that I otherwise would miss. That's how I did things years ago and it worked out very well. I hope my next post is from that place. I'll talk to you later.